MURIC tasks international community on anti corruption fight

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

European, Asian and other countries serving as safe havens for stolen funds from Africa have been challenged to review their laws to ensure probity and discourage corruption in the continent.

The Director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Professor Ishaq Akintola made this call in a press release issued in response to damning revelations by witnesses of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency (EFCC) and the Panamaleaks about the Nigeria’s Senate President.

Akintola said countries like “Switzerland and the United States with questionable latitudes in their banking laws which allow kleptomaniacs from Africa to hide their loots must pay beyond lip service and take urgent steps towards transparency, probity and accountability.

” Those who make it easy for thieves to hide their loot (and also benefit their economy from the proceeds of looting) live with a moral burden,” he said.

The Director, who posited that the integrity of the Senate is at stake advised the law makers to urgently do something to the implications of Senator Bukola Saraki’s embezzlement of hidden assets abroad.

“The trial of Dr. Bukola Saraki, began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) two days ago (Tuesday 5thApril, 2016). Since then, shocking revelations have been made at the proceedings. But the most revealing is the implication of Saraki in the recent Panama papers where the Senate President allegedly has hidden assets in safe havens abroad.”

Akintola noted that business of Senate usually grinded to a halt on every occasion of Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal with the attendant waste of tax-payers’ money.

“While we salute the Senators for this manifestation of camaraderie, several attempts by the embattled Senate President to resist trial suggest that he probably has skeletons in his cupboard. The recent revelations during court proceedings where staggering amounts of money were alleged to have been surreptitiously deposited in bank accounts or siphoned outside this country by the Senate President through his agents also call for caution, concern and sober reflection,” he said.

The Professor expressed shock on the fact that huge sums were reportedly split into smaller amounts and paid fifty times into the same bank account on a single day, maintaining that such act is quite worrisome.

Akintola thereby challenged the senate members to search their conscience and do the needful “Is this not a desecration of the highest office in the Senate? We know that there are honest men and women in the Senate. We know there are people of integrity who occupy well-deserved seats in our Senate today. Are our Senators waiting until Nigerians start judging all Senators by the same parameter?  Are our Senators tarrying until Nigerians start invoking popular proverbs like ‘Birds of the same feather…?’ “

MURIC Director informed the Upper Chamber that the Nigerian public is disenchanted with a legislature that cannot satisfy all righteousness, saying a legislative arm which condones stinking corruption at the leadership level can never be in tandem with Nigeria’s new elixir for anti-corruption.

“Saraki must go. Those who come to equity must come with clean hands. We cannot afford to have an icon of credibility at the Nigerian apex of the executive only to have the exact opposite in the higher chamber. Perhaps that is why very little progress has been made since May 29, 2015. Saraki is a Trojan horse” he submitted.”

Consequently, as people’s representatives, Professor Akintola calls on the Senators to save Nigeria from the impending doom and prove to the electorates that no single person is greater than Nigeria.

“It is time for pendulum swing. Distinguished Senators, are you going to be loyal to a particular person or to Nigeria?” he queried.